What is STEM Tangram Puzzle?
STEM Tangram puzzles are a type of puzzle known as a “rearrangement puzzle,” or a “dissection puzzle.” The puzzle consists of seven pieces (one parallelogram, one square, and five variously sized triangles). The goal of tangram puzzling is to reproduce various shapes that utilize all of the pieces with every piece touching and none overlapping. For example, a tangram puzzle play card might have silhouetted shapes like birds, animals, buildings, etc. It is possible to re-create the silhouettes using the seven tangram pieces. The tangram puzzle has maintained its popularity over the centuries because it’s fun. But researchers now believe that STEM tangram puzzles are more than just “fun.” They’re also a great educational and developmental tool.
STEM Puzzles as an Educational Tool
The very things that make STEM Tangram puzzles enjoyable are the things that make them a wonderful educational tool. For example, visualizing and moving the pieces to try and recreate a difficult shape is challenging and enjoyable. It’s also exercising your spatial awareness skills and strengthening them. Researchers have also found that tangrams appear to strengthen math skills in children. In one study, some children played with tangram-like puzzles for forty minutes before taking a math quiz. Others had comparable (but different) tasks, like crossword puzzles. The children that had the opportunity to play with the puzzles first scored better on the quiz. This may be because solving tangrams requires skills that are important in math, as well. For example, geometry and logic both come into play when solving tangrams. Even if the puzzler isn’t consciously thinking about geometry or classical logic, they are intuitively using these skills, which may leave their minds more attuned to mathematical solutions. Other geometry puzzles like the STEM Soma puzzle and STEM Pentomino puzzle are also great play & learn tools for more advanced players. STEM Tangrams are even a great educational toy for toddlers. Although they may not be able to solve difficult silhouettes, there are children’s tangram puzzle sets that have the perfect challenges for their age like the Twisted Tangram Puzzle. Tangrams are a fantastic way to practice shapes and colors with young children.
STEM Tangram Puzzle provides children with important mental, emotional, and physical challenges that can truly enhance their overall development. Here are some of their benefits.
STEM Tangram certainly helps to encourage children to develop important cognitive skills.
The nature of the STEM puzzles is that they present a problem to be solved. First, the child must examine the “problem” and understand it. Then, they test out different solutions. This is a skill that carries over into nearly every other facet of life, well into adulthood.
Many puzzles require the puzzler to apply their ability to memorize what they’ve seen in order to progress. Memory is another skill that develops with practice.
The physical and mental skill development we see from puzzling may seem more tangible, but puzzles also promote emotional development.
There are many fun and entertaining toys that help children with other skills, but few are as effective as puzzles when it comes to promoting the feeling of accomplishment and confidence in one’s abilities. For a small child, this is a very important step to gaining agency, and the desire to achieve.
As an adult, setting goals may seem like second nature, but children need practice. A STEM Puzzle has a “goal” built in to help children understand this concept.
STEM Tangrams are for Everyone
STEM Tangram puzzles are an enjoyable, meditative solo activity, and they’re also a great party game. The STEM Tangram Puzzle is a wonderful mathematical game that helps build critical thinking skills and understanding of geometry, making this a perfect puzzle for all ages and skill levels. Tangrams are a fun, and creative way to exercise the mind. Today you can find many unique and fun designs of the classic square tangram, like the STEM Tangram, STEM Cat Tangram, and even an Egg Tangram.